US 8136194 B2
A disposable finger mounted instrument cleaner (2) of the type having a semi-circumferential protective body (4) with a swiping expanse (6) to generously occlude lateral and extensor aspects of a finger and a tapered gripping coil (10) to wrap around the flexor aspects of a finger. Attached to the swiping expanse is an adherent foam body (14) with a number of pressure sensitive grooves (18) and debris traps (16) so that an instrument can be inserted into the pressure grooves to deposit debris in the debris traps. In Addition, the foam body has a pocket (20) for thorough instrument immersion and for holding desired medicaments.
1. A finger mounted instrument cleaner comprising:
(a) a circumferential protective ring to wrap around a finger, having a swiping expanse to occlude extensor and lateral aspects of a finger wherein said swiping expanse has an hour glass shaped flared region to correlate with lateral and flexor aspects of a finger;
(b) a circumferential gripping coil to wrap around flexor aspects of a finger;
(c) two instrument deflection guards flaring up from said protective ring; and
(d) a foam body adherent to said swiping expanse wherein said foam body is dimensionally smaller than said swiping expanse.
2. The finger mounted instrument cleaner of
3. The finger mounted instrument cleaner of
4. The finger mounted instrument cleaner of
5. A finger mounted instrument cleaner comprising:
(a) a circumferential protective ring to wrap around a finger, having a swiping expanse to occlude extensor and lateral portions of a finger;
(b) mirrored non-connective circumferential coils to wrap around flexor aspects of a finger;
(c) two instrument deflection guards flaring up from said protective ring;
(d) said swiping expanse having a hour glass shaped flared region to correlate with lateral and flexor aspects of a finger;
(e) a foam body adherent to said swiping expanse wherein said foam body is dimensionally smaller than said swiping expanse; and
(f) therein a pouch or pocket to permit insertion of an instrument head.
6. The finger mounted instrument cleaner of
7. The finger mounted instrument cleaner of
This application claims the benefit of Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/813,025, Filed Jun. 13, 2006 by the present inventors
1. Field of Invention
This invention applies to the fields of Dentistry and Medicine in particular to allow for the ergonomic cleaning of and application of medications and or disinfectants to operative hand instruments in a protective manner concurrent with performing a procedure.
2. Prior Art
Dentistry and its medical counterpart may avail of this invention's novelty regarding chair-side procedures, and specifically those procedures which require the close proximity of both hands. In Dentistry, typically during the scaling phase of a dental prophylaxis, the Hygienist will retain a cleaning cloth (gauze sponge) within the fingers of the hand opposite that of the one employing the instrument. When not cleaning the instrument head, these fingers often times are in use to hold an auxiliary instrument or to retract oral structures (cheek, tongue, lips). To clean the debris laden (blood and calculus) instrument, the operator must make a deliberate hand (rotation) and fingers (compression of the instrument working end within the confines of the gauze sponge) adjustment. This maneuver among other things causes a disruption during the procedure with constant hand repositioning and interrupts the usage of that hand. Also the instrument potentially can be wiped by an area in the gauze previously laden with contaminated bacterial debris with the likelihood of reintroducing pathogens back into the periodontal structures (gums). There is also opportunity to experience an inadvertent self-induced instrument stick with its subsequent unwanted sequelae. The fingers-holding gauze technique also precludes the instrument holding ability of that hand. Although this scenario represents the standard protocol in a typical dental prophylaxis procedure, there does exist alternative ways to by-pass the fingers and gauze technique.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,844,308 to Porteous, Don D., Jul. 4, 1989 presents a finger mounted cup designed to hold dental paste or tooth cleaning agent. It permits an instrument to access and procure its contents but does not provide for instrument cleaning and debridement.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,368,482 to Johnsen, James B., Nov. 29, 1994 presents a finger mounted dental instrument servicing system for instrument cleaning and to transfer a medicament to an operative site. It is composed of disposable and non disposable components. Its myriad of components i.e. wiping sponge, appendage to hold cleaning medicaments and root canal file measuring scale can present the operator with ergonomic challenges. Furthermore, the components rest upon a horizontal platform which dictates an optimal position on the operator's finger in order to be most accessible. The instrument cleaning sponge presents a homogenous surface which can impede instrument insertion and withdrawal. The non disposable component also presents with cleaning and sterilization considerations.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,257,888 to Barham, William L., Jul. 10, 2001 presents as an instrument cleaning device and a separate polish dispensing receptacle. This device is adhesively secured to back of the hand which necessitates deliberate hand rotation to access and does not permit aggressive engagement of the instrument head to remove stubborn debris.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,036,490 to Johnsen, James B., Mar. 14, 2000 also presents as a dental instrument servicing device. However, the application for this device is intended for Endodontic (root canal) therapy. Its plurality of components precludes its practicality for non-endodontic procedures.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,971,879 to Discko, John J. Jr., Dec. 6, 2005 claims a material dispensing instrument cleaning sponge. This sponge presents with a singular slit and an adhesive backing as a preferred means of attaching to the hand. Hence, relocation or adjusting may compromise the sponge's integrity and or cause unwanted expression of the sponge's fluid contents. Also, to avail of multiple cleaning grooves it is necessary to affix additional sponges to the hand. Furthermore this device promotes itself for delivery exclusively for low viscosity agents, precluding its ability to contend with those of a highly viscous nature.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,986,924 to Croll, Theodore P., Jan. 17, 2006 presents a semi-rigid adhesively attached finger mounted receptacle to facilitate the delivery of pastes and solution and does not function in the capacity of instrument debridement or finger protection.
U.S. Pat. No. 7,014,463 to Savola, Dominic, Mar. 21, 2006 presents as a device which relies on a circular tuft of bristles to engage and debride instrument heads. It doe not purport to retain or dispense pastes or medicaments. Furthermore it does not allow for instrument decontamination.
Accordingly, several advantages of the present patent application of Brian D. Viscomi, Dominic A. Viscomi, and Julie A. Glazer for “DISPOSABLE FINGER MOUNTED INSTRUMENT CLEANER” are:
(a) Anatomically contoured to conform to individual's finger shape and size
(b) Provides circumferential work field close to operative field
(c) Circumferential design provides for greater surface area
(d) Guards against accidental finger stick
(e) Fluted design permits instrument's ease of insertion into cleaning groove
(f) Fluted design frictionally engages instrument to ensure removal of debris
(g) Multiple grooves make for more efficient use of sponge surface
(h) Cleans and disinfects working end of instrument
(i) Provides as a vehicle for introducing medicated solutions into the operative area
(j) Can provide for the introduction of topical anesthetic to the operative site
(k) Ergonomic placement and design promotes efficiency and lessens hand fatigue
(l) Esthetic streamlined appearance
(m) One size fits all and is disposable
It is thus the object of this invention to provide a disposable, generally circumferential finger mounted dental or medical chair-side instrument cleaning device.
It is the further aim of this invention to disinfect the instrument's operative end during the process.
This invention also allows for multiple grooved channels on a singular body that provide ergonomic ingress and egress of the instrument head
Another object of this invention is to provide additional protection to the operator against inadvertent instrument sticks.
Accordingly, a finger mounted device which can be impregnated with an appropriate solution to clean and disinfect an operative instrument in a protected manner while allowing the clinician to function with minimal disruption of hand movements during the operative procedure.
The finger mounted instrument cleaner 2 consists of a hardened semi-cylindrical shell or protective ring 4 with a compressible foam body 14 attached to it. The ring 4 is mostly circumferential, and has a somewhat hourglass shaped flared region. This flared region or swiping expanse 6 is ergonomically sized to correlate with and generously occlude the extensor and lateral aspects of finger while worn (
Originating from the superior termination or upper edge of the swiping expanse 6 is an acutely tapered continuous curved extension or gripping coil 10. The gripping coil 10 is partially circumferential and extends from the superior swiping expanse's edge 6 to underneath the lower portion swiping expanse 6 (In the vicinity of the gripping grooves). The coil's 10 acute taper is designed to wrap around and correlate with the lateral and flexor portions of a finger while worn (
Adhering to the expanse's 6 face is a broadly covering, semi-dense compressible layer or foam body 14. The foam body 14 has a mostly similar but slightly smaller dimension than that of the swiping expanse 6. Formed into the upper periphery of the foam body 14 are two lateral insets, lagoon like inlets or debris traps 16. Contained within the area of the debris traps 16 are numerous horizontal interfaces, slits, or pressure grooves 18 (
Located a short distance below the pressure grooves 18 is a pouch or pocket 20. The pocket 20 is an opening much greater volume and possesses greater insertion potential than the superiorly positioned pressure grooves 18. The pocket exterior or expansive pocket cover 22 expansively opens, permitting for total instrument head immersion FIGS. (1A and 1C).
The finger mounted instrument swipe 2 can be made from any number of materials. The protective ring 4 may be made from any material that is sufficiently puncture resistant. Synthetics such as plastics are preferred although natural materials and any number of metals/alloys may be utilized. The protective body 2 can be injection molded or die stamped from planar sheet stock and thermally shaped into configuration. The foam body 14 may be fabricated from open or closed cell synthetic foams or any other suitable natural compressible material. The foam body 14 may be fabricated from one piece or may be formed by layering sheets of foam upon each other. The foam body 14 may then be adhesively attached to the ring's 4 swiping expanse 6. The grooves 18 and pocket 20 may be made from injection molding. Lastly, Finger Mounted Instrument Cleaner 2 can be fabricated with a singular injection mold as one piece.
There are many possibilities for the finger mounted cleaner 2 with regard to configurations of the protective body 4, foam body 14 and means for attachment to a finger. In
To use the finger mounted instrument cleaner 2, an operator 44 first orients the cleaner 2 to place on a desired finger. To orient the cleaner 2, the swiping expanse 4 and foam body 14 portions are positioned to correlate with the extensor and lateral aspects of an operator's 44 finger (
Next, during an operative procedure, debris 50 accumulates on the instrument 46. As needed, the instrument 46 is then directed into one the debris traps 16 to engage a pressure groove 18 (
Accordingly, the reader will see that the disposable finger mounted instrument cleaner can be used to clean instrumentation of debris with ergonomic efficiency. This can be accomplished with minimal disruption to procedural focus. The result is procedural seamlessness that promotes greater concentration and safety. In addition, the single use function of this swipe allows for instant disposal negating the need for time consuming and undesirable autoclaving. Moreover, additions of pressure sensitive and debris traps and pockets of the instrument cleaner for enhanced infection control and isolation of instrument-borne debris. Pressure sensitive grooves and pockets allow instrumentation heads to be enveloped and swiped clean, trapping debris within the foam body. The enveloping nature of the pressure grooves ensures that bio-residue will be safely contained within specific locations of the swipe. Furthermore, the DISPOSABLE FINGER MOUNTED INSTRUMENT CLEANER has additional advantages in that
Although the description above contained much specificity, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but merely as providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this invention. The disposable finger mounted instrument cleaner can assume any shape, size, or dimension that best allows for optimal cleaning of instruments. For example, the protective body may assume any shape and size as needed for optimal instrument cleaning. It may also be comprised of any material that promotes optimal security, stability and comfort. This includes all manners of synthetics, metals or other organic substances. Also, any number of specialized coatings may be applied to all exterior or interior aspects of the cleaner. This includes adhesives, infection control substances, or any other helpful substance.
The foam body may have any size, shape and thickness as needed for optimal instrument cleaning. Any viscosity of foam may be used. The foam may be layered. The foam may also be open or closed cell to ensure optimal collection absorption, compressibility, abrasiveness, stability, protection, and comfort. With regard to pressure grooves, any number may be present in any shape configuration necessary to best allow for swiping and debris collection effectiveness. Any number of internally located channels, appendages or debris traps may be incorporated to best enhance the collection and debris entrapment. Additionally, instrument cleaners designed for sharps or bladed instruments may have additional channels or pockets with slice resistant coatings or laminated layers of appropriately protective materials.
The instrument cleaner may also be used as a medicated delivery system for the purposes of infection control and/or introduction of therapeutic substances. The instrument cleaner may also be pre-medicated with any of these appropriate substances. Last, any of the above alternatives may be incorporated to any degree. Any features may be included or completely eliminated for optimal cleaning function.
Thus, the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents, rather than by the examples given.